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Home News and Update Year 2010 Single Dose Of Radiation To Treat Breast Cancer

Single Dose Of Radiation To Treat Breast Cancer

The Medguru
10 June 2010
By Kangna Agarwal

Single Dose Of Radiation To Treat Breast Cancer
Soon, radiotherapy treatment for breast cancer [abnormal cells that divide without control, which can invade nearby tissues or spread through the bloodstream and lymphatic system to other parts of the body. ] patients would just be a 30–minute affair than the present six weeks task.

In a major breakthrough, a team of British doctors headed by University College London’s Dr Jayant S Vaidya an Indian from Goa has tested a new technology to treat breast cancer [abnormal cells that divide without control, which can invade nearby tissues or spread through the bloodstream and lymphatic system to other parts of the body. ] tumor using a single dose of radiotherapy.

The experts claim that the technique is highly convenient, and requires just one shot of radiation [use of high–energy radiation from x–rays, neutrons, and other sources to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors] , which lasts for only half an hour. It is also less costly and less time consuming.

Details of the study
To test the efficiency of the new technique, researchers carried out a clinical trial on 2,232 women with early–stage breast cancer at 28 centers in nine countries over a period of nine years.

They found that single dose of targeted radiation appeared to be as effective as the traditional course of radiotherapy. The doctors explained that the new technique specifically targets the remnants of tumor inside the breast rather than targeting the entire breast area.

Single dose of radiation was also found to cause lesser damage to these organs. There is a risk of potential damage to various organs such as heart, lungs, and oesophagus in traditional radiation therapy.

"TARGIT trial can change two fundamental principles in the treatment of breast cancer: whole breast radiotherapy can be replaced by a targeted one–time shot and a much smaller dose of radiation may be adequate," Dr Vaidya was quoted by the Times of India as saying.

He also told that several hospitals in India, including Breach Candy in Mumbai and AIIMS in Delhi, have expressed interest in his work.

"Breast cancer usually recurs around the area where the tumour was detected the first time. So it’s logical to give concentrated dose of radiation to the tissues at highest risk of cancer coming back rather than the whole breast," he added.

The results of this trial have been published in the latest edition of the medical journal ’The Lancet’.

Critics’ opinion
The critics, however, regard the findings as limited because the study only looked at 2,232 women, which is not a representative sample.

"We really need to have more women followed for a much longer period of time before we can really understand the implications. This is not ready for primetime," Dr. Len Lichtenfeld, deputy chief medical officer for the national office of the American Cancer Society was quoted by ABC world news as saying.

The authors of the present study have also outlined the need for further trails. They opine that the new technology will emerge out successful in near future.

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